Harford Community College held three summer workforce development academies attended by 27 Harford County students, ages 17-19. Two focused on the construction trades to prepare students for employment or apprenticeship programs; the third was a culinary technician academy that prepared students for immediate employment in food service occupations.

Students in both of the construction trades academies trained in carpentry, electrical/solar, plumbing, HVAC, OSHA 10, print reading, and heavy equipment operations. The students engaged in hands-on activities and designed and built their own projects. Each student also received the federally-recognized OSHA 10-hour certification training, as well as resume writing and career readiness coaching. At the conclusion of the program, representatives from local apprenticeship programs and construction companies presented job opportunities to the students. One of the construction trade academies was supported by scholarships from Harford Community College Foundation’s Grants for Innovation program and the Building Congress & Exchange Foundation. The other construction trade academy was provided in partnership with Harford County Public Schools’ Department for Special Education.

Also provided through a partnership with HCPS’ Department for Special Education, the culinary technician academy provided students training in professionalism, knife skills, food safety, equipment skills, and food handling and processing. Each day of the two-week program, a skill was highlighted through preparation of carefully planned recipes and activities. For example, students learned knife skills by cutting vegetables in julienne, chiffonade, and brunois and prepared a delicious recipe for spring rolls with dipping sauce. They also had a “Chopped” competition to learn about pairing ingredients and food presentation.

For information on these and future academy-type programs, please contact JeanMarie Lewis at 443-412-2337 or